PHCAN: The home is the first line of defense against COVID-19

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Amid rising cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, there are mounting calls for a shift in perspective–the hospital is the last line of defense, with the home being the first.

This is the message of Public Health Communications Advisory Network (PHCAN), a network of organizations led by doctors from different practice areas, composed of volunteers determined to support our national government’s efforts to defeat COVID-19.

“Considering our already overburdened hospitals and healthcare facilities, we want to empower families with critical and verified health information to help drive our journey against COVID-19 at the community level,” said Dr. Iris Isip-Tan, member of PHCAN and the internist-endocrinologist behind Endocrine Witch, a Facebook page that offers information on diabetes, goiter, and other hormonal disorders.

The members of PHCAN are driving a social movement to buy more time for our healthcare systems. That means reducing the burden on our healthcare facilities so they can provide care to those that need it the most. By communicating critical and verified public health messages on COVID-19 to families, PHCAN seeks to enable them to help prevent the spread of the virus at home and in their communities during these challenging times.

“As a citizen, one of the biggest differences we can make is to free up healthcare professionals to concentrate on the seriously ill. This starts by conducting basic self-triage to help inform our health and safety decisions at home,” said Dr. Aileen

Espina, another member of PHCAN and a family medicine specialist.
Steadfast in the belief that the battle against COVID-19 begins with information on how to apply basic rules on prevention, isolation, and physical distancing within the context of our homes, PHCAN will be hosting a series of Facebook live sessions that will tackle pressing concerns such as how to manage PUMs and PUIs within the community, the importance of physical distancing, and the practice of social solidarity with COVID-19
patients, healthworkers, and other members of the community.

Conducting their first Facebook live session this coming Saturday, 04 April, Doctors Aileen Espina and Iris Isip-Tan will be discussing the need to change perspectives as we shift our ‘frontlines’ from hospitals to our families and communities. The webinar will also have a live Q&A portion to address frequently asked questions from the audience.
To learn more about PHCAN, visit

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